Saturday, April 30, 2011

Enjoying England

We are home!

Dogs and humans arrived back in the UK safely from Cyprus last Sunday night. We collected Macy & Bella from Gatwick the following morning and although the first 20 minutes - with Bella clearly very frightened - was a little traumatic for us, everything that has followed has made their few hours of air travel worthwhile.

This week, they have experienced many miles of running off the lead in the English countryside, through farms (Jim's family's) and across beaches (West Wittering) topped off with a warmth and friendliness from strangers that they have never really experienced. Sitting outside shops or on park benches, old ladies and children have approached them to chat and stroke their heads - a world away from the attitude of locals in Cyprus.

They also got to meet the other two family dogs who are both Border Terriers and by some miracle we actually managed to restrain them all for a photograph together with my niece and nephew.

Tomorrow they start another voyage - this time by car. Over two and a half days they will travel 12 hours up to the Scottish Highlands. This time I have no concerns about their welfare for the journey, both dogs love the car and Macy has actually been climbing into the boot this week for an afternoon doze, so I am confident they'll get along fine. I'll fly up and join everyone in the new house next Friday and the blog will be getting a mini overhaul and a new name....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sunny Cyprus?

We have now entered the final chapter of our Cyprus posting, a few nights in a hotel before we fly back to the UK on Sunday. Amidst the chaos of the last few weeks the Easter weekend has been something of a target for us, the end of April is usually hot and consistently sunny and we imagined ourselves enjoying a couple of days on a sun lounger topping up our tan before we return to the UK.

I suspect this couple relaxing by our hotel pool today had similar plans - who would have known that while the UK basked in April sunshine, Cyprus would be struggling with rain and unseasonably cold temperatures? Still at least console ourselves that we haven't paid to fly all the way here to experience it!

So with three days to go, we've now both finished work, handed back our quarter (after 5 long long days cleaning it to meet military specifications) and posted our final excess baggage to the UK. The dogs are in kennels till they fly on Sunday night and we are trying to decide whether its kinder to leave them there, or to visit them tomorrow and take them for a long walk... but then put them back in their pens just as they think they might be going home! Fellow dog owners what do you think?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Arrows 2011

Red & Blue

For the last few weeks the Red Arrows have been doing their annual pre-season practice in the skies above RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Their schedule has coincided with my morning commute and so every day my 20 minute drive to work along the coast has been accompanied by their display... Frankly it's a miracle that I haven't driven into anything whilst watching!

Next week the Reds are off to Greece to continue their training and so before they went they did a display for the military community in the grounds of the Akrotiri hospital. It was a beautiful day with a backdrop of the Mediterranean sea and even though it was probably the twentieth time this month I have seen them in action it was every bit as spine tingling as the first time.

Living and working with the Red Arrows you are supposed to at least attempt to be nonchalant about them, but I've fallen for them hook line and sinker this year, and yesterday's display has affirmed what I think will be a lifelong admiration for the team. A signed print will even be going up on the wall in Scotland, much to the dismay of my Army husband!

More photos here and last year's display here
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